Last updated: 02-Oct-18
Compression products are one of those things that can provoke endless and even heated debate amongst runners. Do they work? The aficionados say YES, whereas others don’t feel the benefit.
Of course, all choices of kit are ultimately personal, but one thing I do know is that if I ever have a niggle, or my legs start to feel extra tired, I reach for my calf sleeves and wear them till it clears up.
Compressport sent me two products to try out.
Full socks V2.1
- Ultra-ventilated mesh
- Maximum grip is guaranteed due to the 3D.Dots acupuncture technology. You won`t slip during effort and blood circulation is stimulated
- Those same 3D.Dots help absorb shocks and dampen impact; the Achilles tendon is cushioned and protected
- Moreover, the socks being positioned around the arch of the foot, compression stimulates venous return and strengthens stride posture
- One UP of these socks is their ergonomic toe piece that fits each foot
- Its seamless and elastic-less upper layer does not pressurise your leg
- A one-layer hem that replaces the initial double-thick one. Less pressure and discomfort is exercised on the knee.
- RRP around £40
The socks offer compression at the ankle and support under the arch of the foot as well as support round the calf. They also offer you a risk-free trial and a 2 year guarantee which is pretty good.
My reservation around compression socks is that they sometimes slip in your shoe and can cause blisters, so I was cautious with trying these ones out. But I needn’t have been. They have little knobbly bits on the feet and didn’t slip at all.
I could feel the compression particularly around my ankle and under my foot and they did feel supportive. The thing I noticed after a particularly long outing was that my right ankle, which can get a bit puffy, wasn’t.
The fit was good, too, no extra material in the foot and snug round the calf. They are not cheap at around £40 but I felt the benefit.
- Targeted graduated compression at calf level brings oxygen to the muscles.
- Ventilation bands directly integrated in the ultra-extensible fibre allow optimal oxygenation of the muscles.
SUPPORT AND PROTECTION
- Shock absorber, the R2 Oxygen increases resistance to effort.
- Muscle injury is limited by 29% (manufacturer’s claim)
- An ergonomic tab supports and protects the patellar tendon against vibrations.
- Knees are well protected during descents and speedy technical trails.
- It reduces significantly lactic acid in muscles for faster recovery.
- RRP around £45
Over the summer, I haven’t wanted any extra layers in the hot weather, so Oxygen sounded like a good option. These were much lighter than the socks and as you stretch them over your calves you can see the way the mesh works to let in the air.
The compression is still excellent, though. It feels strong on the leg, and for a lot of hill work I like the focus on the calves, because that is where my legs can get really tired.
In the features (above) the manufacturer says that, “muscle injury is limited by 29%”. I can’t attest to that but I am able to say that I tested these both during runs and long hikes and afterwards and they both supported my legs and eased soreness and swelling.
They also didn’t feel at all hot on my legs, even in temperatures of 45+, and actually saved me from having to slather suntan cream on these white, Scottish legs.
Be warned, though, they need careful handling. I actually (annoyingly) put my thumb through the right-hand one as I was yanking it on in a hurry. Again they are not cheap at around £45.
For me, compression works. It is a good insurance policy. My legs feel fresher over the long distances and I get significantly less swelling. I liked both products but would wear them for slightly different things.
The socks I would use if I felt my ankles and feet were tender or going to take a bashing and regularly for training runs but I would probably not use on a multi stage event as I still prefer the option of regular socks and calf sleeves.
The sleeves would be my choice for the longer event as I can then change out socks if necessary. Also, when my legs are really achy I like the option to wear the sleeves overnight too.
Other socks you may want to try:
Long Copper Compression socks
All images by Alice Morrison except when stated.
Have you used the Compressport Full v2.1 socks or the R2 Oxygen sleeves? Don’t agree with this review? What’s your opinion? Add your own comment to this review and share your experience and passion for running with others.
Not a member yet? Sign up here to be part of the RunUltra community and share tips and stories with thousands of fellow runners around the world.
We are a professional review site and our reviewers receive free products for testing from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are by the reviewer’s name shown.
We use affiliate links in some of our reviews and articles. This means that if you purchase an item through one of these links we will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through our links but the income will help us to keep bringing you our free training guides, reviews and other content to enjoy. Thank you in advance for your support.